RCPCH votes for Government to withdraw the Health and Social Care Bill

Following a survey of members, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has voted to call on the government to withdraw the Health and Social Care Bill – and is urging Ministers to bring together all healthcare professionals to work on practical steps for delivering areas of reform where there is clear consensus.

The decision was taken by the RCPCH’s Council following a survey of UK members, which saw 79% of respondents vote for the College to call for the ‘outright withdrawal’ of the Bill rather than continue to push for amendments.

President of the RCPCH, Professor Terence Stephenson, said:

'It is clear that a substantial majority of our voting members believe that the Health and Social Care Bill carries risk for children and young people.

'Despite revisions and assurances from Government, there remains widespread and deep concern amongst not only our members, but also the wider health profession and public, about the Bill’s impact on patient care.

'The RCPCH has never at any stage supported the Bill, but we have consistently engaged with Government to try and push for amendments to ensure the best outcomes for children. Although we have secured some changes – such as the Children’s Forum – it’s our membership’s views that these do not go far enough.

'At the NHS Summit which I attended earlier this week, the Prime Minister made it clear that the Government will press ahead with the Bill.

'Yet pushing the Bill through is creating disaffection amongst the very people – the clinicians – who will be delivering these changes on the ground when the reality is that there are areas of reform where the healthcare profession are in agreement, most obviously the principle of clinically led commissioning and improving how services are delivered.

'All those representing healthcare professionals need to be brought together to thrash out how these areas of consensus can be effectively put into practice.'

Ends.

For further information, contact: Melissa Milner: melissa.milner@rcpch.ac.uk, 020 7092 6005 / 07837 973 412.

Breakdown of survey results

The RCPCH surveyed all UK members via an anonymous online survey, between Tuesday 14 February and Tuesday 21 February 2012.

The College consulted the Electoral Reform Society on the wording of the survey, and followed all of their recommendations.

The question was:

'Please mark the box adjacent to your preferred statement below:

I prefer that the RCPCH continues to try to amend the Health and Social Care Bill
I prefer that the RCPCH calls for outright withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill'

There were 1,492 valid votes (14.50% turnout) amongst the RCPCH’s UK members. Of those, 308 (20.64%) voted to continue with amending the Bill, vs 1,184 (79.36%) who voted to call for its withdrawal.

For an overview of the RCPCH’s engagement with Bill, statements and responses, see our Health and Social Care Bill page